Phoenix council to vote on premium pay for essential and vaccinated employees

By Christina Estes
Published: Tuesday, November 30, 2021 - 10:54am
Updated: Tuesday, November 30, 2021 - 5:17pm

employee watching trash being dumped with police car in background
Christina Estes/KJZZ
Trash being dumped from encampments near the Human Services Campus on Feb. 5, 2020.

Thousands of Phoenix city employees could soon get bigger paychecks. The City Council is expected to vote Wednesday to hear the $25 million to $29 million proposal at its Dec. 15 meeting.

Phoenix calls it premium pay for essential workers during the pandemic. The money would come from federal funds through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA).

If the council approves, eligible full-time employees will get $500 and if they’re fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by Jan. 18, 2022, they’ll get $1,500. Non-seasonal part-time employees will get $250 and it will increase to $750 if they’re fully vaccinated. Middle managers, executives and council members are not eligible. 

According to a council report, “Premium pay is intended for the workers who have been and continue to be relied on to maintain continuity of operations of essential critical infrastructure sectors, including those who are critical to protecting the health and wellbeing of their communities.”

On Wednesday, Dec. 1, the council will will also consider creating a retention cash program that would pay up to $7,500 “to retain trained and qualified employees meeting performance standards in critical positions, positions that are difficult to retain, or positions that require a rare skill set in this highly competitive labor market.”

After the city recently announced a vaccine mandate,  police and fire unions joined a lawsuit against it, and next week the council will hold a public meeting on the issue

EDITOR'S NOTE: The story has been updated to reflect the city's plan to continue the premium pay issue on its Dec. 1 agenda to its Dec. 15 formal meeting.

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